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too many mouths

Thu Jan 13 11:41:40 EST 1994

Congratulations to Ellen for establishing this network.  Also it is a
good idea to have us introduce ourselves.

I'm Fred Sack.  I did my PhD at Cornell (1982) on the ultrastructure of the
stomata of the moss Funaria (it has an interesting one-celled stomate) and then 
wrote a review on stomatal structure for Zeiger et al's Stomatal Function book.
I have been researching plant gravity sensing since '82 first as a postdoc with 
Carl Leopold (Boyce Thompson Lab, Cornell) and then as a faculty member
at Ohio State University.  I recently returned to stomata.  Ming Yang in my
lab isolated 2 Arabidopsis mutants with clustered stomata.  Twins has a high
fraction of paired stomata (laterally) and Too Many Mouths has larger numbers of
stomata per cluster.  They are independent loci.  We're characterizing
these mutants by all available means including intensive developmental 
studies.  Both genes seem to influence cell fate i.e. they cause the formation
of extra guard cells from the meristemoid.  Through additional screening,
in progress, we hope to find additional mutants in the stomatal development

Obviously, Arabidopsis genetics will offer a powerful tool for dissecting
out stomatal development and differentiation.  But as a morphologist
I have been fascinated with the diversity of the forms of stomatal complexes
and with the complexity of their architecture.  Look to an upcoming article
in the AJB (yes Ellen, that is the American Journal of Botany) on stomata
of the monocot Flagellaria to appreciate what a highly differentiated
structure the apparatus is (including subsidiary cells).  Microscopy reveals
how many questions we have yet to answer; mutational analysis is just a start!

Fred Sack
John Innes Institute (sabbatic for 1994)
Cell Biology
FAX: 44-603-56844
e-mail: sack.1 at osu.edu (forwarded to UK)

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